Grab your longbow, braid your hair, and hop on the train to the Capital, because Suzanne Collins is taking us back to Panem. The Hunger Games prequel book has a release date, reports the Associated Press — and we don’t have to wait that long. That’s right, the long-rumored prequel drops next year. Is that a mockingjay, or the sound of every Hunger Games fan cheering at this news?
The as-yet untitled book will take place 64 years before the events of the first Hunger Games book, or, rather, the 74th Hunger Games, as narrated by Katniss “Bad Bitch” Everdeen. Presumably, this means that the prequel will cover the 10th Hunger Games in Panem. Collins elaborated on the book’s time period, explaining that it's set in “the reconstruction period 10 years after the war, commonly referred to as the ‘Dark Days.’” She plans to explore “the state of nature, who we are, and what we perceive is required for our survival,” very heady and sadly relevant topics today. The Dark Days, Collins explains, “provides fertile ground for characters to grapple with these questions and thereby define their views of humanity.”
It’s clear that we will meet brand-new characters, though the impact of the Dark Days has been referenced by characters throughout the Hunger Games trilogy. In Mockingjay, Katniss takes us to Panem history class as she described how rebels from District 13 attempted to overthrow the authoritarian government — with disastrous consequences. After the failed rebellion, District 13 was destroyed, but its citizens secretly reconstructed the city. The prequel series will follow that reconstruction, though it remains to be seen how deep we will dive into the underground of District 13.
As for the inevitable movie adaptation, Lionsgate, who produced the Hunger Games film trilogy, seems to be onboard with the prequel. Though they didn’t outright confirm that a movie was planned, they told the AP, “We’ve been communicating with her during the writing process and we look forward to continuing to work closely with her on the movie.” Kiss your three fingers and point them towards the sky.